euro-bank-notes - EUR
  • Pound (GBP) looks to next week’s BoE rate announcement
  • Brexit optimism supported sterling
  • Euro (EUR) struggles with geopolitical tensions rising
  • ECB rate decision is next week

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is holding steady after two days of gain. The pair rose 0.3% in the previous session, settling on Thursday at €1.1389, after trading in a range between €1.1342 – €1.1401. At 05:45 UTC, GBP/EUR trades +0.08% at €1.1389. The pair is set to lose 0.2% across the week.

The pound pushed higher on Thursday amid rising Brexit optimism and despite concerns over the outlook for the UK economy.

The UK Treasury Minister Jeremy Hunt met with Irish finance minister Michael McGrath, with both showing a shared determination to secure an agreement on post-Brexit trade. There have been reports of an improved atmosphere between the two sides, as relations improve.

The news comes amid a deteriorating outlook for the UK economy after CBI retail sales slid sharply in January, reversing gains from the festive period. According to the CBI net sales volumes was -23 after rising 11 in December. Falling sales volumes come as the sector continues to face challenges as households remain squeezed with amid double-digit inflation and rising interest rates.

Today there is no high-impacting UK economic data to be released. Attention will turn to the BoE interest rate decision next week. The BoE is widely expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points in February, taking the rate to 4%, before an additional 25 basis point rate hike in March.

The euro has come under pressure in recent sessions as geopolitical tension with Russia have rise. An agreement by Germany and the US to supply tanks to Ukraine has marked a potential escalation in tensions.

Today attention will be back on the economic calendar with the release of French consumer confidence, which is expected to improve to 83, up from 82, and Spanish GDP, which is expected to show that the economy grew 0.1% quarter on quarter in Q4.

The data comes ahead of the European Central Bank meeting next week, where the ECB is expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points.